Responsible

A Pet’s Perspective

You know those cheesy Purina Cat Chow commercials where they lead in with a dialogue that goes something like, “He’s your everything. He’s your pride and joy, and he deserves the best”? And then it turns out that it’s a commercial about a white fluffy cat that looks like a female, and is not actually about a human baby?

Yeah, well, that’s basically how I feel about my dog.

And, frankly, this is how we should all feel about our furry friends.

I’m not going to sit here and lecture anybody on the proper care and treatment of their pets, but I will leave you with a couple of things to think about, for those of you who have a pet or are considering adopting one.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of animal it is.. Fish, dog, cat, horse, hamster – you name it – it needs to be cared for, and properly. Please, please, please do not adopt a pet if you do not have the time or the motivation to take care of it. Animals that live in a habitat need them cleaned, regularly (i.e. aquarium, cage); dogs and horses need to be exercised and bathed; cats need their litterboxes cleaned.

And listen, I’m preaching to the choir here because I have totally been that girl who wanted a dog sooooo badly but didn’t think about the repercussions. I wanted a Chihuahua that I could take everywhere with me in my purse like Paris Hilton (I know, I know.. SO cliche). But I was in college and smack dab in the middle of a full time school schedule and a full time party schedule. Not to mention I wasn’t exactly made of money. I could barely afford to keep the poor dog alive. Luckily a close friend of mine and her husband adopted him and have given him a way better home than I could have (in fact, they now live in SoCal close to the ocean and he is the happiest little camper).

But let that be a lesson to everyone who is considering adopting. Really, really think about whether or not you are responsible enough to care for another being. There is not always a happy ending for them like there was for my Chihuahua. Too often they end up getting surrendered to shelters and they live out their lives in a tiny little cage.

On the flip side, if you have the time to care for a pet, make sure that, prior to adopting, you do your research on breeds, vet fees, things like that. While it is expensive to have a pet, it is a lot cheaper to pay for preventative care than it is to pay for a sick animal.

Now, I do work full-time, but Bella is three-years-old now and has become accustomed to my schedule. She knows that she goes potty in the morning, gets fed, and goes back to bed until five when I get home. And then we go and play, she gets fed again, and she’s as happy as a clam. It wasn’t always that easy, and in fact it took a lot of work and training to get her to this point, but at the end of the day it’s very rewarding and so worth spending the extra time, energy and money to have her as my constant companion.

All I’m asking is that you do your research, do your math, make sure you have every tiny bit of information you could possibly need before you make any final decisions. Your [future] pet will thank you.

– The Blonde (& Bella)

love print

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Paper Trails

I am notorious for not holding on to receipts. I can’t stand the clutter of all those tiny, useless pieces of paper. Receipts are so small and seemingly insignificant – every single day I find old ones shoved into little nooks and crannies in my kitchen, my clothes, my wallet – you name it. It drives me crazy! And I tend to keep everything that I purchase, so what’s the point of holding on to the receipt?

Well, to be honest, I still don’t really hold on to the little ones. A few groceries and household necessities from Walmart and I toss the receipt. But I DO hold on to the major ones. Receipts for monthly bills, car purchases, rentals, etc. Things that I may need to review or have in my records for some weird, crazy reason.

And, if you live in an apartment like I do, you don’t really have room for a desk or a gigantic file cabinet to hold everything. And so that brings me to step 1 in getting your blasted paperwork organized: finding something to NEATLY hold your loose papers (which won’t be loose anymore). I recently discovered these small storage boxes that are designed for files (you’ve probably seen them in your local stores, they aren’t a new invention or anything).

storage

I bought two of them, and it’s been more than enough space for the things that I keep. I found mine at Walmart and Target, but I’m sure that any other office supply store or home deco store will carry them.

The next thing to do when you’re trying to get your papers organized is to buy a box of file folders. I usually snag mine from my office, which are just basic, nude-colored files. I also have colored ones, but unless you are color-coordinating your categories, it really doesn’t make a difference which ones you use.

The most important step is to LABEL YOUR FILES. For example, mine are labeled according to content: Bella & Roca, Wells Fargo, Health Insurance, Auto Insurance, and-so-on-and-so-forth. I have a general utilities file, but if you feel you need to sort your papers even further, you can make individual ones according to gas, electricity, cable, Wi-Fi, etc.

organizing folders

I am über organized, so all of my folders are alphabetized, and also organized in each box according to how often I need access to the folder. My main box holds the files for my insurance, monthly bills, and my dogs. Obviously, your folders of importance will probably differ from mine, so organize it in a way that suits you and will make it easiest for you when you need to grab a folder or file something away.

The final step in this process is to find a NOT SO OBVIOUS place to store your boxes. This means, do not leave them on your kitchen counter. If someone was to break in, and found a file with your social security info and birth certificate just sitting and waiting, you’d be screwed. If you live in a small, rented space like me, this is limiting because you can’t sink a safe into the ground or anything like that; however, I keep mine in my bedroom, somewhat hidden, but easy enough for me to get to. If you know you’ll be getting into your boxes on a regular basis, DO NOT store them somewhere that is difficult to get to. It will keep you from staying organized and that pile of receipts will just start to build up again.

It’s not that difficult to stay organized! Just don’t be lazy – and if you have a busy schedule and don’t have the time to store your bills and receipts every day, then set aside 30 or so minutes at the end of every week to get everything organized and put away. It will save you a lot of stress and (if you happen to have a need for a bill or receipt) a lot of time and energy as well.

*Word to the wise, any papers you are throwing out that have ANY sort of personal information on them should be shredded. Believe it or not, there are creeps that actually dig through garbage just to see if someone is careless enough to discard the blueprints of their entire life. Also, if you come across something that you don’t know if you’ll need again but don’t feel good about throwing out, stick it in a miscellaneous folder. I have one, and every few months or so I go through it and clean out the things that I realize I no longer need.